Three Northern Va. residents killed, one injured in deadly I-81 crash

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. (WJLA) - Three residents of the local area were killed and one was seriously injured in a freeway crash in Washington County Tuesday evening.

A deadly crash on I-81 left three dead and one seriously injured Tuesday. All victims are from Northern Va. (Photo: Ted Overbay/WJHL)
A medical helicopter transports the sole survivor of the crash from the Toyota to a hospital. (Photo: Ted Overbay/WJHL)

According to Virginia State police, Abenezer D. Thewdros, 19, and Abel N. Avele, 19, both of Arlington, and Alemu S. Ameha, 25, of Alexandria, were killed when a Toyota Avalon ran off the side of the I-81 freeway near the 34-mile marker and slammed into a tractor-trailer parked on the side of the road.

State police were called to the scene of the accident at 6:22 p.m. Tuesday.

Trooper R.W. Addison said a tractor-trailer traveling south on I-81 experienced a flat tire, and pulled off to the side of the road to inspect the tire.

As the tractor-trailer's driver and passenger were walking back to the cab of the truck to inspect the tire, a Toyota Avalon ran off the left side of I-81.

Addison then said the Toyota's driver overcorrected to the right, causing the car to slide sideways and slam into the rear of the tractor-trailer.

The driver, Thewdros and his two passengers Avele and Ameha died at the scene. Another passenger, Arketsadik Yilma, 19, of Alexandria, was seriously injured and and was flown in a State Police Med-Flight helicopter to Bristol Regional Medical Center.

Neither the tractor-trailer driver nor his passenger were injured.

The crash remains under investigation, but State police said alcohol does not appear to have been a factor.

Southbound lanes on I-81 were re-opened to traffic at approximately 9:30 p.m.

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